QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: “Dallas” by the Dallas MQG

by Shannon PageFull_pic

The Dallas Modern Quilt Guild decided to have an original design for this year’s quilt that represented Dallas and modern quilting. The designer, Shannon Page, chose the Pegasus because it is an iconic image in Dallas. The origami-inspired winged horse is made instantly recognizable as a city symbol by adding bars on the wing while the pink colors is a send up to the traditional red. The scale theme is represented by the large-scale Pegasus and small-scale strips.

A paper piece pattern was created by the designer and then finalized and made actually usable by Beth Phillips. It was then enlarged to gigantic proportions by Kristi Carpenter. At a group sew, Kristi Carpenter, Carol Dennis, Cathy Fields, Chelsey Fields, Lee Jenkins, Ashley Leon, Shannon Page, Liz Perini, Beth Phillips and Stacey Smith spent the day learning how to strip piece on giant sections while specifically randomizing the strips to create the bars of white and color. After all the pieces were complete and sewn together the quilt was quilted by Lee Jenkins as a collaboration of ideas between Lee and Shannon. Denise Strueber kindly hand-bound the final product.
The entire groups had a great time working together creating the pieces that would come together and form such a striking image. It was great to learn from each other and truly inspirational to have all these talented quilters working one vision and putting their own touch on each piece.


Sewing all day with the group was the highlight. It was so much fun and, when the piecing got tough, we had each other’s company, and copious snacks, to keep us going!
We are still deciding what charity would best benefit. We are thinking of using it as a raffle to support our guild in supplying more than one quilt to a charity.

Instagram @dallasmqg


QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: “Power of Scale” by the Chicago MQG

by Melissa Bogusch & Emily Handley, Members and Co-Chairs Chicago MQG

ChicagoMQG_Power_of_Scale_Overall_ShotThe inspiration for the quilt design came from the 1977 short film “Powers of Ten” by husband and wife designers, Charles and Ray Eames. This film, set in Chicago, examines the world through different levels of magnification. It shows the extent of our scientific understanding and how we as humans are situated within it. As the film traverse these extremes it becomes apparent that we are all very much connected. We are all made of atoms, DNA, and skin. We live in neighborhoods, cities, and regions created through complex social and spatial relationships. While we may often feel we are alone on our blanket islands, we are actually all on a planet, traveling through space, surrounded by stars made of atoms.

03_Finished_Block_AnimationA series of 15 still images from the film were chosen as inspiration for the blocks, each highlighting a different scale from the atomic to the galactic. Distinct block designs were developed for the front of the quilt and utilized the specific color palette for this challenge. The level of magnification begins at the most detailed level, in the upper left quilt block, and moves across the quilt from left to right, and down, broadening in scope. A suggested method of block construction was provided for each scene, but final construction was left up to the individual block maker. This flexible approach allowed guild participants some freedom in how they went about completing their task. It also provided an opportunity to try out or perfect a particular technique. Participation from our guild members was very high, with 20 people of all skill levels and quilting styles contributing their time and energy.

Techniques represented in this quilt include English paper piecing, needle turn applique, foundation paper piecing, fusible applique, and traditional piecing. The off-center positioning of the blocks created an opportunity to emphasize the change in scale through varying densities of straight-line quilting in the negative space. A different free-motion quilting design was applied to each block to enhance the scene. The design for the back of the quilt is a large scale number “10”, referencing the quilt’s inspiration. We plan to donate this quilt to DIFFA/Chicago, the Chicago chapter of Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids, for auction at their annual fund raising event.

Guild Participants: Emily Handley, Melissa Bogusch, Terri Karls, Ilia Raguay, Debbie Pine, Sarah Shulman, Cathy Sisco, Carole Wool, Rebecca Murphy, Amy Struckmeyer, Emily Hall, Rosalie McMenamin, Laura Hartrich, Dianne Bienick, Charity Simpson, Donna Moscinski, Sara Hochhauser, Dani Miller, Heather Kinion, Holly Harper.

Instagram @chicagomqg


QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: “The James: Not to Scale” by the Central Virginia MQG

by Wanda Dotson, President


Our 2017 QuiltCon Charity Challenge quilt is a reflection of where each member lives and our connection to the James River which runs along much of Central Virginia to the coast. We explored the theme of Scale by looking at the geography of our region from an aerial view. While sewing the blocks together, we laughed that “It was not to Scale.”
In April we gauged interest on participating in the Challenge. Since we were a new guild, there was apprehension and uncertainty about the process. In May we shared the theme and color palette. Many members did not like the color palette but we were excited to see what we could create with them. At our June meeting, we brainstormed which led to an idea of using an aerial view of the James River as inspiration. We agreed we wanted the quilt to represent Central Virginia and each of our members. Thereafter we had discussions on the Community page of the MQG. Reaching a consensus was difficult but it appeared members wanted to stick with the James River idea.

Before our August meeting, two members, Ann Prince and Wanda Dotson, mapped out a 4 by 5 grid with a “river” running through it with the idea that the entire quilt would be inprov. They shared their paper grid at the September meeting. It was met with confusion and general concern for making an improv river. It was obvious the vision for the quilt was not clear to members. At that meeting one of our members, Truda Lee, had demonstrated the Scrappy Bits Appliqué technique from Shannon Brinkley’s book. Members suggested we use that technique to make the river. Members also suggested we each make an improv block representing an aerial view of where each of us lived along the James River. Our members showed their willingness to compromise and their ingenuity to make this happen.
In October our members turned in their blocks and on October 30, 2016, we had a Sew Day to assemble the improv blocks and to add the river to the completed geography. Melanie Leckey then quilted it and Ana Conceicao added the binding.
We learned that more instruction on what we expected and more communication at the onset would have helped the process run more smoothly.
We enjoyed seeing where each member lives and how creative our members are. We learned we can take colors we do not like at first and produce an amazing result. We saw Scale in a new way. In the end, we were happy with the result and were excited to share our work at QuiltCon East.

We plan to vote on a charity for our quilt at our March meeting. Picking a charity will be a challenge for us. We have a variety of organizations we want to support and it will be difficult to choose what group will receive our quilt, The James: Not to Scale.


Instagram @cvamqg

QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: “Our Ohio” by the Central Ohio MQG

by Nadia Barksdale and Betsy Truex-Powell


This was our guild’s first year as a chapter of the MQG, and we were so excited to tackle this challenge as our very first group quilt! We took a deep breath and jumped right in by collectively reviewing the theme, handing out color chips, and dreaming up designs. Everyone brought their designs to the group and we voted from a total of six designs. Though it was hard to pick a favorite, we chose a design that we thought best spoke to our modern style and to our chapter as well. Here in Columbus, you’ll find the outline of the state of Ohio everywhere–from t-shirts, to posters, to handmade jewelry–and we couldn’t resist making a modern and iconic statement with our charity challenge. USE6

Everything from the design choice, to the fabric pulling, to the assembly and quilting was 100% collaborative. It was so inspiring to see everyone come together to work on the design. One particularly talented member – an architect by trade – drafted up the design in AutoCAD and produced the Quilt Math for us to be able to turn the vision into a reality. We divvied up blocks, brought our stashes together, and pieced blocks both together and on our own. We held a few weekend events to really work together as a group. We assembled and pressed the whole top in one sew-in at a local library and got together for a weekend at one of our members’ homes to do the long-arming.

The coolest part of the whole process was that everyone was so willing to pitch in and help! In our first year, we realized how many different strengths we have as individuals. It was incredible to see us put those strengths together, and even leave our comfort zones a little, to get the job done. Some members were petrified at the thought of long-arming (both because of the probability of mistakes, and the likelihood of falling in love and “needing” a long-arm in our own homes), and some were not as block-savvy as others. Still, we made it happen, and we were thrilled to reveal the whole thing at our celebratory December guild meeting.

Our first charitable giving project was geared toward the Nationwide Children’s Hospital here in Columbus, Ohio. Together, we collected quilts and packaged hygiene products in quilted zippy pouches for dozens of children and their families. We are choosing to donate this quilt to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, as well.Pic3

Follow @centralohiomqg


QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: “Colorado Cadence” by the Boulder MQG

by Ann Deister, Social Media Director


2017 marks the third year the BoulderMQG has made a QuiltCon charity quilt. Making charity quilts has always been a large part of our mission. We have donated over 50 quilts in the past three years. For a small guild, averaging around 24 members, I think that’s pretty amazing!

This was our process for creating Colorado Cadence.

When the color palette and theme were announced, we talked about possible ways to depict the idea of scale and agreed upon the colors we wanted to work with. We also chose to use mostly prints. Using the prints allowed us to use scale at the micro level within the design giving the quilt greater variety and depth.


As chairperson, I developed a few ideas for review. Our President, Cynthia, suggested this mosaic by Roberto Burle-Marx, a Brazilian landscape designer as a possible source of inspiration. 

At the review, everyone agreed the mosaic offered wonderful opportunities for exploring scale. The next step was to develop the design. Squares and circles, structured through the use of color blocking, was the basis of our concept. I started with super large areas of color to create a vast sense of scale. These areas were broken down into 12” blocks using the square and circle design elements. More and more details were added providing texture and variety. With each progressive refinement more movement and rhythm was introduced.

Packets of fabric were pulled together that included a small amount of a solid plus some prints based on color. Members signed up for 2 or more blocks and supplemented with fabrics from their stash which added more variety. Block assignments were flexible so quilters could add their own twist. The main criteria was to stick with the color scheme and square/circle elements. This worked well for our group. Some made blocks exactly as the diagram showed and others added something. BoulderMQG_detail_of_quilting

Members worked at home and during our monthly sew days and, as the blocks came in, I put them up on my design wall to keep tabs on our progress.

During our October sew, many people pitched in sewing the blocks together so by the end of the day we had a finished top and a nearly finished backing. Cynthia, then took everything home. She completed the backing and worked her fabulous free-motion magic, quilting a variety of different motifs in the various sections of the quilt. We are so lucky to have her talent in the guild. By early January it was ready for the finishing touches. Binding. Label. Sleeve.

Most of our guild participated and I want to thank everyone for giving their time and talents to our effort. I am so proud of you and our quilt.

Having Colorado Cadence hanging in Savannah with the other charity quilts will be very exciting. Seeing so many quilts, all sharing the same theme and colors, hanging together in one place is simply AMAZING!  And all for charity. Quilters truly are generous people. BoulderMQG_design_development

The Boulder Modern Quilt Guild is based in Boulder County Colorado. If you live in the area or even if you’re visiting, we’d love to have you join us. Learn more about us by visiting our Facebook page or our website. Follow us on Instagram too @bouldermqg. #bouldermqg


QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: by the Austin MQG

by Dawn Golstab and Amanda Hohnstreiter, Team Leaders


Over the past few years, we have focused more on improv for the QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge. Improv has become more and more popular this year, we have seen it more in the social media realm but also in projects that our members have been bringing to our monthly meetings for show and tell.
Around the time that the challenge was announced, Chawne Kimber visited Austin and taught a small scale piecing workshop. It was exciting and fresh and it was one of the catalysts for our design.
After all this focus on improv, we wanted to swing the other direction with the challenge. In an effort to test and build our skills for the precise, a design was created using small scale 3 inch finished churn dash blocks to create a larger scale churn dash. While the need for 720 mini churn dashes seemed daunting at first, our guild embraced the challenge and pressed on full speed ahead!

Building community and creating a supportive environment became so important on this project. One of the biggest blessing we saw were people honing their skills during piecing, but showing up even to iron, or cut fabric, anything to help out the team. Most sewing on this project was done in these group meet ups, which made the process all the more enjoyable. Everyone had a hand in the larger layout, fabric combinations, placement of individual blocks and more.
What’s most impressive is how well each person did with their precision piecing on this project. The idea of having a group of people sewing up 720 blocks individually and having them actually align and match up without much work seems impossible. However, each of those tiny pieces fit together like a glove. We couldn’t be more proud of the work from our guild members!

Instagram @austinmqg


QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: “Star in Your Future” by the Asheville MQG

by Connie Brown, Charity Quilt Coordinator


In July 2016, the Asheville Modern Quilt Guild held a brainstorming meeting to share ideas for our 2017 QuiltCon Charity Quilt. Our vice-president was the project manager. She ordered the fabrics we were to use and the book “Patchwork City” by Elizabeth Hartman. The theme had been selected, “playing with scale”, as well as color choices and the idea to incorporate stars. Our first sew-in was held in Sept 2016 where members made large units of improvisational piecing because there were no guidelines or plan for an overall design. In October, we were to have another sew-in, but that was soon canceled. Our guild was in turmoil. The president, vice-president, and secretary all resigned and urged the guild to dissolve. Several members felt we could accept their resignations and continue on as a guild for at least one more year. The remaining members gathered for our regular November meeting. We discussed being able to complete the charity quilt project. If only we had the fabrics and improvisational units that we had already made. We received those items from the former project manger on December 19, 2016. Time was now a huge factor. A design was sketched out. It used star patterns found in “Patchwork City”. Stars in 4 sizes would be off-set and float on the improv background. Kits were put together so members could take a few home, sew them together and turn them in. We scheduled a sew-in day but snow caused us to postpone to the next day. On Tuesday January 10, 2017 we lugged sewing machines and supplies through 6 inches of snow to work on our charity quilt. Thank you to the Southern Highland Craft Guild staff and the Folk Art Center in Asheville, NC for allowing us to use a meeting room. During the sew-in, a few spinners were meeting just next door. I invited them to see what we were working on. They were curious as to what is a “modern” quilt. This was a wonderful opportunity to educate other textile artists about modern quilts. We left our machines there overnight and the next day completed our “Stars in your future” quilt top.

A member has volunteered to longarm quilt it for us and another has volunteered to bind it. This guild has pushed through adversity to see this project through to the end. As I write this we have 2 weeks to quilt it, bind it, attach the sleeve and label and then ship it to QuiltCon. A big THANK YOU to all of the AMQG members who contributed to this project, including, Monica T, Moncia H., Avery, Christina, Jo, Tina, Erica, Diana, Paula, Pam, Sara, Rachel, Amy, Patty, and me, Connie. We did it!


QuiltCon Charity Quilt Spotlight: “White Noise” by Ann C. Malhotra & Catherine R. Herman

by Catherine R. Herman


With the quilt challenge theme SCALE, we immediately thought music! For decades, our family has enjoyed many musical genres! We scoured our Modern Quilting resources. Ann spotted Debbie Grifka’s WAVES quilt in Modern Patchwork Summer 2014 (an Interweave Publication) and we were hooked! We chose the KONA pallette because of the wonderful colors (white, silver, pink, citrus, yarrow, ultramarine, hyacinth, ocean) and sewing ease. With permission from Interweave Publication, we began our construction by making a paper mockup to establish quilt size, block size, and color placement. Rotary cutting, design board placement, and machine piecing ensued. We were so pleased with each wave addition! Grey was added in the backing selection and machine quilting. Pink quilting lines added panache! We continue our musical and quilting adventures during daylight and sleep to white noise – thus the title!


Making Decisions Together

After listening to membership feedback and having many, many conversations within the community, the MQG staff and Board of Directors have decided to retract the blog post about derivatives that was published in July. We want to sincerely apologize for the confusion, misunderstandings and frustrations it caused. We made mistakes with how the information was presented, and it was not our intention to discourage, stifle or disappoint members. For that we are truly sorry.

We are removing the blog post to avoid future confusion, but we realize some members may still want to review the post and associated comments, so a complete PDF is available to members on the Resources page, here.

Clarification of QuiltCon Rules and Jurying/Judging Policies

  • There will be no changes to the rules about derivative works for QuiltCon 2017 (i.e., the same rules that applied for QuiltCon 2016 will apply for the 2017 show).
  • The Education Committee is currently working on compiling the current jurying and judging policies and procedures for QuiltCon into a consolidated document for members to view. The information outlined in this document will be no different from anything we’ve been doing in the past, but we are formalizing the policy document to provide better transparency about the existing process. This document will be released to members in the October newsletter.
  • In the coming months, we plan to launch a new pilot member involvement program (see below). One of the first of these programs will be a task force to obtain membership input on how to best incorporate the important issue of derivative work into our QuiltCon 2018 quilt entry rules, and jurying and judging policies and procedures.

Making Decisions Together

As an organization, we realize there is a huge opportunity to increase member involvement, especially when making decisions that affect the entire membership. The response to the derivative post showed that a larger issue needs to be addressed: communication between members and leadership and how we make decisions. As such, we’ll be rolling out a new pilot member involvement plan in late 2016, which we will be discussing in an upcoming town hall meeting (see below). It won’t be fast, and it will take time to launch, but we are 100% committed to creating more avenues for member involvement within the MQG.

All-Member Town Hall Meeting

This town hall meeting will be held to share highlights of recent activities, present concepts to increase member involvement and answer your questions. Any and all MQG members are invited to attend.

Because the MQG is a global organization, we explored many dates and times, but found that the one below works best across all time zones. If the time is not convenient for you, please note that the town hall will be recorded and posted on the Community Resources page shortly after airing live. Any member may submit a question, here, and those questions will be read in the order they are received after live questions have been answered. The time for the town hall is:

Los Angeles: 1pm PDT, Thursday, September 22
Denver: 2pm MDT, Thursday, September 22
Chicago: 3pm CDT, Thursday, September 22
New York City: 4pm EDT, Thursday, September 22
London: 9pm BST, Thursday, September 22
Sydney: 6am AEST, Friday, September 23

Town Hall Agenda: 

  • Highlights of recent MQG activities
  • Pilot member involvement plan
  • Q&A


Edit: Please visit the events page on the MQG Community site to register and submit questions.

Thank you for your questions, comments and support over the last few weeks. We are committed to answering questions and working with all members to improve the organization, and we thank you for being on this journey with us. We can’t wait to take the next step and move forward together.

Please note that staff is not working over the holiday weekend, so comments made after 4p EDT will not receive a response before Tuesday the 6th.

We’ve reached 10,000 members!


Today we’re excited to announce the MQG’s biggest milestone yet — we’ve reached 10,000 members!

Back in 2009, when the guild began, the goal was simply to give modern quilters a place to connect, learn and share their work. Since then, we’ve done that and so much more — with YOUR help — to build this great community. We’ve connected with each other and forged new friendships in our local communities and with members around the world. We’ve learned together through workshops, retreats, conferences, webinars, quilt patterns, blogs, events and more. We’ve shared our work online and in person at QuiltCon and other events.

Our community is now 10,000 members strong, and its amazing creativity and work is still providing inspiration every day. We have big plans for the MQG, and this is just the beginning of what we can accomplish together. But today, we want to say THANK YOU and celebrate what we’ve all created together.

Thank you for being part of this amazing, global community. Thank you for inspiring people to take up modern quilting, learn new skills, and become creative professionals. Thank you for believing in the importance of modern quilting and spreading it to all corners of the world. And thank you for sharing your expertise and creativity with the community in so many ways.

We can’t wait for the next big milestone (20,000, here we come!), and we hope you’ll join us when that time comes. Until then, keep quilting and keep being part of this amazing community.


Alissa, Jacquie, and the MQG Team

Special thanks to our dedicated sponsors who have helped us grow this community and have generously provided gifts for our 10,000th member prize pack! Thank you Connecting Threads, Creativebug, Interweave, Janome, Michael Miller, Northcott, Paintbrush Studio, Stash Books and C&T Publishing, and Windham Fabrics.